Ann’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine…Exposed!


Young and oh so wise when it comes to skin care and self care, we know you’re going to love this routine from a reader who has been with us since the age 13!

Name: Ann

Age: 19

City: New Prague, MN

Skin: Fair, acne-prone, finally in pretty good condition

Hair: Dirty blond-light brown curly bob; very curly the first two post shampoo days, unraveling somewhat after. Generally good condition, with frizzy tendencies

Favorite Star From the Past: None. I don’t have favorite stars or celebrities, so feel free to choose for me! (NMDL note: We chose Lauren Bacall)

I revolutionized my beauty methods and products after stumbling into NMDL in the library as a thirteen-year-old. I’ve been reading this blog and other books and blogs since. With time, new knowledge, trial and error, my hair and skin have greatly stabilized and are looking much more as they “should” for my youth. Also, sometime while transitioning from a depressed, apathetic wreck into the positive, cheerful person I am now, my skin answered in sync. Inner peace is probably what I credit most to looking better in general. As an extremely busy university student, I have reason to be stressed and overwhelmed, but I’m not. Even while consistently not getting enough sleep or allowing pitfalls in diet, things mostly stay the same (these factors used to cause flare-ups). Also, I drink an obscene amount of water.

In the Shower…

I start off most days with a few minutes of mindfulness by quietly reciting this mantra to set the tone for the day. Unless it’s after a workout, I shower in the mornings. This is the only thing besides the occasional coffee that gets me going. I consistently use Jason’s Tea Tree Body Wash, as it is affordable and prevents body breakouts for me. Twice a week or less, I shampoo with Shea Moisture’s Hibiscus & Coconut 2-in-one Foaming Body Wash (yes, body wash on my hair. It works. This one is also my shave cream.). Conditioner currently is Giovanni Leave-In, and for gel I’m finishing up my bottle of Bamboo Style Super Natural Curl Shaping and Defining Cream. It’s not my favorite and not the most clean, but first day results are very decent. I used to use Jane Carter Solution Wrap & Roll for mousse, which was always great. I am always changing it up with hair products and next want to try the DevaCurl line, which gave top-notch results last time I was in a salon. Jessicurl is also an option. I squeeze water out of my hair with a smooth pillowcase and air dry. On non-poo days I merely wet it slightly and I’m good to go.

Outside the Shower…

Afterwards I use a body oil on wet skin and let it dry while doing my makeup. Currently it’s Osmia’s Sunset, which functions superbly. I just don’t adore the scent, which is overly feminine for me. For perfume I apply the last sad drops of Sage Onyx perfume oil on my chest and pulse points. The smoky scent of black coconut, tobacco and amber could easily be my signature, if some chocolate base notes had been present. I had tried mixing a sample of Sage’s Onyx & Peridot perfume oil blend with some pure cocoa absolute and loved the results even more than the original Onyx. I wish Osmia and Sage would team up to turn one of these into a body oil!

I have been using Dove’s Clinical Strength Deodorant for a couple years. I know, I know. Nothing else works! I study in a very professional future career environment and cannot afford to go through numerous failing natural options. I did notice articles and comments here on NMDL on this but don’t remember them all. Suggestions for powerful natural deodorants with consistent results are very welcome!

After splashing my face with water, brushing with Jason’s Sea Fresh Toothpaste, and putting in my contacts, the coloring fun  begins. Completely by accident, I discovered a trick that makes my makeup go on smoother and last better. One morning in a sleepy haze I applied my clear setting powder before the other cover up products, but was surprised to find that everything went on better…so that’s what goes on first now. My “setting” powder is a mix of Silk Naturals’ (untinted) Perfecting Powder and Coastal Scents Silica Spheres. The silica spheres were a find based on someone in the comments here saying it was a cheap RMS Un Powder dupe. I mix these two because the Perfecting Powder by itself is almost too glowy and requires too many touchups, while the silica is too drying and powdery.

After the setting powder goes on my entire face, I apply Mineral Fusion’s Concealer under my eyes and upper cheeks/nose area. Great concealer, by the way, with very good coverage. Next up is Physician’s Formula Airbrushing Pressed Powder. This one is the best affordable and easily accessible option I have found. It doesn’t break me out, doesn’t wear off quickly and has very good coverage. I just don’t like the color options—the lightest color is just a tad too ghostly, and the one after is too orange. (I have the lightest one and it oxydizes a bit on me after a while, so I still am ok with it.) Then I apply the setting powder once again. Once in a while I use Alima Pure’s Contour Powder in Sombre around my nose, cheek hollows and eyes. This stuff is the bomb—completely matte, not too ashy or orange.

For brows I use Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil. Not the absolute cleanest, but the color (medium brown) is just right, and I love how tiny and precise the line always is. Before I was using Zuzu Luxe and was fine with it, but not wowed. Suggestions are welcome. The mascara I keep coming back to is Origins GinZing Brightening Mascara. Origins is definitely greenwashed but this product works well, consistently. I also have Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Work It mascara. This one is comparable to Origins and doesn’t run at all, but the applicator is wimpy and awful. I’m curious to try the Lilly Lolo mascara sometime.

Besides some Alba Coconut Cream lip balm (so effective), I’m done for a typical morning. Every few days I’ll change it up with liner, shadow and/or lipstick. My favorite liquid eyeliners are by Zuze Luxe; seriously great natural formula. Nothing runs or smudges (unless you rub, of course). I have a variety of powder eyeshadows by Silk Naturals, Alima Pure, and Everyday Minerals. All of these are great and can be turned easily into intense eyeliners with a little water and an angled brush. I have only three color lip products. To get my perfect red color, I mix Silk Natural’s Swoon Lipstick with their Jaybird stick gloss or Tarte’s “latergram” Lip Pencil with Silk Naturals’ Swoon Lipstick. The first combo is more moist while the second is more matte. Both combos match with the golden undertones of my fair skin tone, but I’d say the second one is better.

At Night…

First off I brush with Jason’s Sea Fresh Toothpaste again, then floss with a special dentist recommended floss, then rinse with Listerine Antiseptic mouth wash. I started the floss and rinse only recently, after a dental appointment left me with the knowledge that I have some pockets of serious inflammation. That was the final straw to my dental laziness and I got my act together. I’ll keep using these generic options until the inflammation is gone; after that, does anyone have recommendations for truly effective natural options? One small step I can take now is replacing gum with this recipe.

My main skincare happens at night. I wash with any decent natural face wash, as they don’t seem to differ too much from each other for me. Right now it’s Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser. Cleansers for me, anyway, serve as just the step of taking off makeup and a majority of the grime. My power punch is the second cleansing step, which is exfoliating with pure Fuller’s Earth clay. A small amount mixed with water takes care of any little bumps, dead skin, and leftover makeup. My skin is baby soft afterwards and totally absorbs whatever treatment product I apply. This one nightly step is what I believe faded most of my scars and gradually eliminated acne. I used to also do a mask from this clay twice a week, followed by a raw honey mask, but I haven’t had the time and memory to do this in a while. As a note, I use Fuller’s Earth clay specifically because it is reportedly the most powerful and absorbent of them all; this is just right for my young and acne prone skin.

Afterwards I apply three drops of Josie Maran’s Light Argan Oil, a tiny amount of Acure’s Sensitive Facial Cream, and this amazingly effective DIY thyme toner. That oil is the only one that gives me consistently amazing results year round, end of story, completely whooping all other expensive and fancy oils I’ve tried. The face cream is present just to serve as an emulsifier for the oil and liquid toner. I had previously used Stark’s EV Infusion for this step; it was definitely a great product and faded some scars even more, but I can’t afford to keep repurchasing right now something that goes so fast. The thyme toner is always in an amber glass bottle with a dropper attached. This saves mess and prevents me from wasting any of it on cotton pads, as I skip the traditional application steps, just mixing all three products on my face and letting them collectively absorb.

Every night I do a self-breast massage with Mountain Rose Herbs’ poke oil (formulated for breast tissue), or a DIY oil blend of a base carrier like olive and a growth-promoting EO like ylang ylang. This is an ancient practice of women from far back and a personal habit that I’m sure I will be very, very thankful for someday. I finish off the day with positive self-talk and reflection on gratitude and peace. Insomnia to the curb! (well, unless I had coffee at 6 pm…….)

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments! Like, anyone else about to start a breast massage practice? Because that sounds amazing.

12 Responses to “Ann’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine…Exposed!”
  1. Nicolle Mackinnon says:

    Hey Ann! Love seeing a fellow Minnesotan on here – welcome! And so amazing that you’ve been with NMDL since your early teen years. We love that! I totally had a similar deo situation and finally found one I love in Meow Meow Tweet’s new stick. Works like a charm for me, after so many didn’t! I love your calming style and the way you incorporate self-care and meditation into your day. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Steph says:

    Great routine (I loved your mantra)! I wanted to recommend Lilly Lolo mascara, as well as Red Apple “The Lash Project” mascara (a little pricier than Lilly Lolo, but I love it).

    I agree with Nicolle, Meow Meow Tweet makes my HG natural deodorant. The stick is nice for travel, but I like the cream just as well (and it’s a bit cheaper). I will say, as someone who also used clinical strength deodorant, I still sweat with the MMT. It’s not meant to be an antiperspirant, so I expected some sweat, but I wanted to warn you that you will not be bone dry.

  3. Carol says:

    Thanks for sharing your routine Ann! I’m adding another vote for Meow Meow Tweet deodorant. I use the baking soda free grapefruit one in the jar – works perfectly on my sensitive skin. Now I have my daughter and husband using it as well. Their new stick version is working well also for my husband.

  4. Brittany says:

    I use the Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash twice a day and it works great. It doesn’t have any alcohol, so it doesn’t have that clean-burn sensation conventional mouthwash gives, but I got used to it after a few uses. I buy it at Whole Foods, but it’s also available on Amazon and the Desert Essence website. I feel that it’s relatively budget-friendly regardless of where you purchase. Hope that helps!

  5. sarah says:

    I swear by Schmidts’ deodorant (any scent, but my favourite is the bergamot-lime). It was one of the first natural deodorants I tried, and it was great to have the search over so quickly! It has survived a number of hot beach days, so no issues with longevity. It contains hops, which I’m fairly certain act as a bit of an anti-perspirant – I haven’t had any issues with wetness, at least.

    I’ve used both the jar and stick versions of the deodorant, and while I still need to use my fingers with the stick to rub it in (I also usually need to warm it up first since I live in a cold basement), both have been effective for me.

    I had good results with MMT as well, but preferred the scent options of Schmidts and the fact that it comes with a little spatula to scoop out the product. I haven’t tried the stick version yet, but whenever I see it available on a Canadian website I’ll try it out.

  6. Alix Omori says:

    I make my own mouthwash using this recipe: fill a 1-liter glass bottle (the kind with the swing top) halfway with hydrogen peroxide, then add 5 tablespoons of cheap vodka, 20 drops of peppermint oil, and fill the rest with filtered water–shake to combine. I rinse with this after brushing and then use a tongue scraper. You can also adjust the amount of alcohol and peppermint oil if it’s too strong.

  7. Jenny H says:

    I mix my Au Naturale finishing powder with Nyx silica powder (I’d prefer the RMS one but my budget is low) and prefer those results too. Glad you’ve figured out what works for you already! It took me years and the right products being invented to make my skin truly happy.

  8. Jessica says:

    As a fellow sweat-er, I have to chime in. MMT’s deodorant totally did not do it for me. Paste rubbed off on my clothes, when mixed with my sweat it smelled nasty, & it flaked all over my arms. Tried it for several weeks. I used it just as the directions say. Total bomb.

    For me, LaVanila’s deodorant has been the best natural deodorant. Has done the best job out of all I’ve tried! Not as strong as clinical strength, obviously! I still sweat. But Lavanila is good enough to make me not want to buy clinical strength anymore.

  9. Ann says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I’ll be sure to follow up on the deo and mouthwash tips.

  10. Alyssa says:

    Lovely routine! I rarely comment but had to come to preach the gospel of Agent Nateur deodorant. I have tried every. single. natural deodorant, and I ALWAYS end up going back to Dove because they just don’t last. Some worked for the winter (like Lavanila) but none of them have seen me through hot days or workouts, EXCEPT Agent Nateur. I still get sweaty, if it’s really hot out, but I never smell, and the scent is gorgeous and not too floral. I’m convinced that part of it is just finding one that works with your body chemistry… this is my HG and I haven’t gone back to using Dove, not even at the gym!

  11. Susannah Woodbury says:

    I want to put in a plug for Lili Lolo – I’ve repurchased twice and will continue to do so until another favorite comes along. I used to adore the Korres black mascara, but it’s hard to find now. Lili Lolo is where it’s at for me!

  12. Renata says:

    what a great routine! I wish mine would be that clean when I was 19 :) Thanks for sharing with us.

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